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From Rags to Riches The story of Philip Ayesu; CEO of X-Men

Today X-Men is one of the fastest rising brands in the country. Mr. Ayesu tells Meet The Boss, that the idea stems from his own frustrations about the average men’s grooming service that was available.

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“X-men is the Rolls Royce of men’s grooming”, this is according to the Founder and CEO of X-Men,  Philip Ayesu, who has managed to build an executive men’s grooming service when many doubters thought it was not possible in a market like Ghana’s.

Today X-Men is one of the fastest growing brands in the country.

play X-Men
 

Mr. Ayesu tells Meet The Boss, that the idea stems from his own frustrations with the average men’s grooming service that was available.

“I would much rather have my barber come to my house to trim my hair rather than endure the long wait in the salon, or have to sit down in the classroom- style setting waiting for a trim".

play X-Men

 

“When I bounced the idea off some of my friends, they told me it was a bad idea. That people would not be willing to pay three or four times the average price for a grooming service.”

With consistent efforts and branding, however, the X-Men brand has been brought alive, with its target customers responding favourably.

play X-Men
 

“This tells us that, even though feedback is valuable, you should be clear in your mind about what you want to do exactly, because people are not always right.”

X-Men targets the executive man in the middle to upper-class income group, who may not have the time to relax, but has to get proper grooming, as a necessity,  for his executive reputation.

play X-Men

 

Given this, X-Men takes every grooming visit as an opportunity to offer masseur services, manicure, pedicure, deep-cleansing facials for men, and an executive bar.

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“X-Men is a solution-based brand for the busy executive man. So we do wellness, grooming, entertainment and fashion in line with the lifestyle of the customers.

play X-men

 

“ Our haircut is an experience and not just a haircut. It starts in the grooming chair where you get a haircut, after which you are taking to the parlour where we wash your hair with shampoo, then to the finishing table where you get a neck and foot massage.”

In response to the busy schedule of the executive man, X-Men makes it possible for the customer to get a manicure and pedicure treatment concurrently with the haircut.

play X-men

 

“That was when I realized that there was a group of customers who would be willing to pay for our grooming service if they are tailored to their needs and convenience, and that was how X-Men was born.

Philip's Journey To The Top

Philip Ayesu grew up in the 37 Military Barracks with his father who was a soldier and his mother, a trader.

His journey in business is a typical “rags to riches” story, which started at the end of his unsuccessful O and A level education when he hit the streets to hawk all kinds of fast moving consumer goods and confectionery.

“I was part of the first hawkers to start selling on the streets at the Airport” he fondly recalls.

“I would sell anything I laid my hands on, from biscuit, chewing gums, and anything I could lay my hands on.

play X-Men

 

Mr. Ayesu was not very keen on education, and it reflected in his performance at the O and A levels.

READ MORE: Meet The Boss Emi-Beth Quantson of Kawa Moka- Power of small beginnings

“To be honest with you, at that point, I didn’t really see the value of education in my life, because there was exactly no evidence of how education is capable of transforming peoples’ lives. My father was a driver in the Military, and my mother was an illiterate trader. She taught me the basics of customer service and selling. After O level I did not get some subjects on the go, so I had to take them again and did extra classes for A-level.”

The Founder of X-Men did not bother continuing his education after the A Level. Instead, he continued with what he knew best- selling on the streets.

“I began selling pineapples on the streets. We used to have a pineapple farm at the time.  So my wife, who was then my girlfriend would be with me on the streets peeling them while I take them to customers for sale.”

play X-Men

 

For Mr. Ayesu, this was the very beginning of his sales and marketing career, as his street business taught him the perseverance needed for a successful sales career.

The turning point of Philip Ayesu’s life would come when he got a call from the CEO of Multimedia Group, Kwesi Twum one fateful day for a meeting.

play X-MEN

 

“So I went to the offices of Multimedia Group with my pineapple truck, packed in front of his office, and walked in. I remember very well, he was sitting in his office when I walked in. He was wearing a white short-sleeved African print shirt.”

Kwesi Twum offered Philip Ayesu a job as a sales executive of multimedia upon the recommendation of an admirer who had paid a keen attention to his excellent sales abilities.

play X-MEN
 

“ So Kwesi Twum asked me if I could sell airtime, and I said well, I have never sold airtime before, but I have been selling all my life.  He then asked me if I could rake in monthly sales of GHC7000, then 70 million Cedis, and I said that if it has been done before, I can do it.”

That was the beginning of Philip’s journey with the Multimedia Group, where he excelled to become one of the best sales executives to have worked with the company, and even went on to be head of the client service at some point.

Philip would work with the Multimedia Group for almost six years, and then he was approached by his current business partner the founder of Charterhouse, Yolo Ayoade to join him in setting up the marketing and branding firm Multiple Concepts.

Still co-founder of Multiple Concepts, Philip Ayesu is committed to building the X-Men brand, tailoring it the essential relaxation needs of the corporate executive man.

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